Mozart's Musical Joke - Australian Haydn Ensemble

ANU School of Music 2014 Ensemble In Residence - Australian Haydn Ensemble | Concert 2 of 4

Mozart, fondly known as the jolliest of the classical composers, certainly lives up to this image in his 1787 composition ‘Ein musikalischer Spaß'; The Musical Joke. This work is a parody on classical traditions and the 'average' composers of the day, written for two horns and strings. Mozart includes uneven phrase lengths and horrid clashes in the horn chords, making fun of the players as if they forgotten to change a crook. Numerous ridiculous and repetitive motifs are deliberately included to sound as if the composer hadn't had any better ideas!

Special guest Amy Power joins the ensemble on classical period oboe for a chamber version of Haydn’s unusual concerto originally written for two rowdy Lira Organizzata, or street organs. This version uses solo oboe and flute instead of Lira Organizzata, and Melissa Farrow on flute will combine with Amy to recreate this rustic effect.

The program also features an Australian premiere of a fascinating chamber expansion of Haydn’s string quartet Op.71 No.2, completed by his good friend Paul Wranitzky, one of the most underrated composers of the classical era. Unlike other composers of the time that sought to write smaller chamber versions of large works, Wranitzky does the opposite in expanding Haydn’s quartet to include two horns, flute, oboe and double bass.


Mozart ‘Ein musikalischer Spaß' The Musical Joke for 2 horns and string quintet

Haydn Concerto for 2 Lirra Organizzata (Flute and oboe solo) with strings

Boccherini String Quintet Op. 39 no. 3

Haydn/Wranitzky Divertimento for nonet - an arrangment of Haydn's String quartet op. 71 no. 2

The Ensemble's 2014 concert series is proudly presented by the ANU School of Music and generously funded by Canberra CBD Limited.

Tickets are available online:

Adults: $40 | Concession (incl members of FoSM): $30 | Students: $20

Current ANU students should email for details on limited special offer.